NeuroFeedback and Electroencephalography

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
After reading The Anatomy of Violence, Inside the Criminal Mind and Symphony in the Brain (in progress) I came to a conclusion that NF technology may be an unexplored tool for rehabilitation of criminals. Most of them see themselves as "good (wo)men", and their main problem is in abnormal thinking patterns. NF has a lot of documented cases of fixing such abnormal thinking (there is a case in TAoV, and Othmer's son Brian was cured of his violent behavior before he died of overdose). Also NF can help with alcohol/drug abuse, which often leads to crime. More than that there's a study suggesting that even psychopaths can get an improvement in rage control with NF. Another 2017 meta-study concludes that there's not enough data yet to make any claims about effectiveness of NF for criminals.

Do you know of any cases when proper NF exacerbated antisocial or criminal behavior? Or made psychos more clever? Maybe Cs can give us a hint how good NF can be for fixing criminal behavior?
That's a good question. I think it may be beyond the scope of NF. In the study you linked to, it says:

Konicar had the psychopaths perform neurofeedback training during 25 sessions spread over 3 months. After the study, subjects demonstrated improved control of their brain activity. They also reported reduced levels of impulsivity and aggression, assessed via an in-depth questionnaire before and after the intervention. Crucially, Konicar found that the subjects better able to control their brain activity reported larger reductions in aggression.
One of the problems is the self-report, as we know they can be lying. But on the other hand, if their brain shows some changes, it may be a possible way to reduce their levels of violence. I doubt that it would change something in born psychopaths, but it does sound promising for sociopaths or people with serious attachment issues.

It would be great if they could conduct similar studies with different kinds of psychopaths, successful and unsuccessful ones as described by A. Raine. Given how different their brains seem to be from each other, would NF have a different effect? It can go either way. For example, if could make some less anxious about getting caught, thus more reckless and easier to catch, and others way more composed, thus harder to catch.
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
In Healing Developmental Trauma authors suggest that anger emerging during therapy is sign of growing awareness and the anger was there before just in suppressed state. After the anger is acknowledged it must be slowly integrated. Aiming anger inward (acting in) or outward (acting out) is a form of suppressing the feeling we use to avoid frightening realizations.

I think feeling angry after NO sessions is a good sign. This anger is not aimed outward, because it implies hurting other people. It's only realization of anger. The same authors suggest to carefully titrate the therapy to avoid abreactions and negative effects. So when a person gets angry after NO, it can be a good idea to take a break, think about this anger and its cause and let it settle.
I think that these are valid points, and one of the reasons why NO alone can't "fix" everything. Be it in therapy, with NO or anything else, when a previously repressed emotion emerges to the surface, it can often be in a raw state, and it may be valid as such, but it can become a bad thing if when expressed, the person doesn't take some distance and tries to view it as objectively as possible. That's why the therapist or networking helps, to keep things in perspective, separate the past from the present, move on, etc.

Many people develop even stronger narratives and thinking errors when "discovering" these repressed emotions, sometimes becoming inconsiderate, just for the sake of "expressing themselves". That cannot be healthy either. IMO, a middle ground has to be reached between acknowledging repressed emotions, and finding creative ways to express them in a healthy way, not as a "rebellion".
 

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
There is the following pretty recent research paper that was done on the topic of neurofeedback for criminal offenders. And although their results were interesting and promising, they were also inconclusive. It seems like each case should be considered on an individual basis, and there are a lot of elements that could contribute either to the success or failure of the NF therapy.

With regard to the behavioral results of the studies in this review, neurofeedback research for criminal offenders might benefit most from studies where improvements were found for levels of impulsivity (40, 45, 46), psychopathy (27), hostility (18), and drug use (18, 47), which are all very often present among forensic psychiatric patients. Impulsiveness is a strong predictor of criminal offending, and the difficulties with inhibitory control make these patients more prone to aggressive outbursts and violent behavior [e.g., Ref. (54, 55)]. Substance use is associated with higher rates of violence (56). Reducing these symptoms by neurofeedback might be promising with regard to the reduction of recidivism. The results of these studies are mixed with regard to posttreatment changes in the targeted EEG-frequency bands, with results ranging from no significant changes, trends toward significance, to significant changes in the desired direction.
Neurofeedback Training for Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Criminal Offending: A Review
 

Attachments

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Last week I had my 40th session, after I noticed some anger, which lingered for about a week, probably some repressed anger and maybe some from life atm.

I had my 41st session today and towards the end of the session, I noticed twice for about 10 seconds, that my right arm was having spasms or shakes and I felt cold only in that arm and also that I had goose bumps on that arm and nowhere else. Intuitively I thought of Levines book and how havng the shakes releases emotion, so I am assuming it was that. I have had no other side effects since. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced anything similar?
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I had my 41st session today and towards the end of the session, I noticed twice for about 10 seconds, that my right arm was having spasms or shakes and I felt cold only in that arm and also that I had goose bumps on that arm and nowhere else. Intuitively I thought of Levines book and how havng the shakes releases emotion, so I am assuming it was that. I have had no other side effects since. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced anything similar?
I can't say I have experienced that myself, but several guests doing NO here reported something along those lines. Also bones cracking, something releasing in the jaw, etc. I would guess like you did, that it is probably "stuck sympathetic energy" coming out, as explained by Levine.
 

Marina9

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Last week I had my 40th session, after I noticed some anger, which lingered for about a week, probably some repressed anger and maybe some from life atm.

I had my 41st session today and towards the end of the session, I noticed twice for about 10 seconds, that my right arm was having spasms or shakes and I felt cold only in that arm and also that I had goose bumps on that arm and nowhere else. Intuitively I thought of Levines book and how havng the shakes releases emotion, so I am assuming it was that. I have had no other side effects since. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced anything similar?

Not exactly what you reported Baz, but sometimes i've had the feeling that i'm clenching my jaw, and when I was little I used to have sever bruxism. Now when I feel that i'm clenching the jaw during a session I just try to move it and release the tension.
 

nature

Jedi Master
Not exactly what you reported Baz, but sometimes i've had the feeling that i'm clenching my jaw, and when I was little I used to have sever bruxism. Now when I feel that i'm clenching the jaw during a session I just try to move it and release the tension.
Same here for bruxism when younger. I realize (when I recall to myself, mindfullness I mean) that I still have a contracture of all my face muscles, jaws included, then I try to relaxe but it (the relaxation) doesn't last more than a few seconds. I haven't yet succeeded, even after 50 NO sessions. I've stopped the sessions but will restart them again later.
Sure we have lots of things entrapped in our body, that are waiting for being released.
 

Jenn

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
So just a little personal recommendation, I hadn't read that much about NO beforehand so I didn't really know what to expect, I'm generally quite neurotic and can sometimes get abit anxious socially, it's never been that bad, just annoying more than anything. I recently did around 15 sessions and noticed after the first session that my mind was a little calmer and that there was less inner chatter, or at least it was quieter! After following sessions I had short periods where I felt a little more anxious and the inner chatter came back, but this subsided and things "quietened down" again.

Another interesting observation is that over the last few days I've noticed that situations that would've ordinarily irritated/upset me, don't seem to bother me like they would've before. It's almost like I'm not flitting between emotions as much and I'm able to take things in my stride, rather than fretting over every little thing. Whether these changes will be long-lasting remains to be seen, although after seeing such positive results, I would definitiely like to have more sessions in the near future.
 
Top Bottom